In New York Harbor, the former military outpost of Governors Island has undergone a tremendous revitalization, redevelopment and ecological restoration over the last decade, including the creation of a resilient 43-acre park, a growing arts and cultural program, and remarkable growth in audience.
The Island is now home to a diverse number of year-round tenants, including the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Billion Oyster Project, Shandaken Projects, Beam Center, the Institute for Public Architecture, and QC NY Spa, as well as Buttermilk Labs — a new multi-tenant hub for coastal climate solutions announced in Fall 2021.
The Trust is currently in the process of attracting an anchor educational and research institution as part of the Center for Climate Solutions, a groundbreaking initiative designed to further New York City as a global leader in efforts to respond to the climate crisis.
A key part of Mayor Eric Adams’ Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for NYC’s Economic Recovery, the project will support the research, development and demonstration of equitable climate solutions for New York City — that can be scaled and applied globally.
Now, on July 14, 2022, the Trust for Governors Island has released two Request for Proposals (RFPs) inviting operators of event, food and beverage, and hospitality venues to ground lease, redevelop and operate several buildings throughout Governors Island’s Historic District.
The RFPs build upon the Trust’s recent milestone of opening Governors Island to the public year-round and support the long-term vision to expand visitor amenities while breathing new life into fifty landmarked former military buildings.
“Governors Island has become a cultural and recreational ‘must see’ in New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Today’s RFP release is a critical step to also make the Island a full-service hospitality destination, spurring our economic recovery through tourism and job creation. I thank the Governors Island team for their visionary stewardship of this unique New York City resource.”
“In the past year Governors Island has grown tremendously as a vibrant resource for all New Yorkers, with open space now accessible year-round, an array of arts and cultural programs, new amenities, and a growing community of tenants,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of The Trust for Governors Island. “Through the release of these RFPs, we are excited to make progress on expanding ways for New Yorkers to enjoy all the Island has to offer, while furthering our long-term commitment to breathing new life into our historic assets. We look forward to receiving proposals from New York City’s diverse hospitality community.”.
Through the two RFPs released today, The Trust is making available up to 45,000 SF of space across five buildings located within the Governors Island Historic District for adaptive reuse by successful respondents. Properties made available through the RFPs include:
Building 140: Request for Proposals Seeking Food and Beverage Concepts and/or Event Venues
Developers and operators of food and beverage concepts and event venues are invited to submit proposals to ground lease, redevelop, and operate Building 140 an approximately 10,000 square-foot waterfront building on Governors Island featuring high ceilings, a column-free interior, and an approximately 13,000-square-foot outdoor waterfront terrace. Constructed in the mid-1800s as a munitions warehouse and used over the years as a bank and a post office, Building 140 is located at Soissons Landing, Governors Island’s primary ferry dock with 7‑minute service to Lower Manhattan, and features unobstructed views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, and New York Harbor.
Buildings 1, 2, 3, and 25: Hospitality and Visitor Amenities
Developers and operators of food and beverage concepts, event and convening spaces, overnight accommodations, and other amenity spaces are invited to submit proposals to ground lease, redevelop, and operate Buildings 1, 2, 3, and 25 on Governors Island. Together, the Buildings offer approximately 35,000 square feet of combined indoor space located within Nolan Park, formerly home to Commanding Officer’s quarters during Governors Island’s history as a US Army and Coast Guard Base, and today home to a growing hub of arts and cultural tenants.
Successful respondents will be located adjacent to the Nolan Park Cultural Campus, a growing hub of cultural organizations providing dynamic public programs during the Island’s spring, summer and fall seasons. Over time, the Trust plans to grow Nolan Park as a permanent, multi-disciplinary arts and culture campus, providing affordable space to cultural organizations and attracting a growing audience of visitors experiencing the Island’s arts program. Successful respondents will help complement this unique and growing cultural destination with supporting amenities.
Now open to the public year-round, Governors Island is home to a robust calendar of free public programs and events, outdoor recreation activities, diverse arts and cultural experiences, and more to explore.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the Respondent’s proposed program and vision, including serving a broad and diverse audience and aligning with the Trust’s climate and sustainability goals, team and feasibility, proposed terms, and quality of design.
Responses to both RFPs are due October 31, 2022, by 5:00 p.m.